What is music therapy? Music therapy is a form of therapy that uses music to improve mental and physical health. It’s commonly used to help people with declining cognitive health or during recovery from a traumatic brain injury. It’s also helpful with pain management, disabilities, and age-related health issues.
One area where music therapy can help is with stroke recovery.
While a stroke can make it hard for some patients to speak, doctors find some are able to sing their thoughts more clearly. It’s also helpful for building motor skills. Tapping to a beat can help improve muscles in the fingers and hands. It can also help patients regain mobility by walking to a song’s rhythm.
How do you incorporate music therapy into your dad’s recovery following a stroke? Here are four ways to make it work.
-Talk to His Healthcare Team…
Start by talking to your dad’s healthcare team. They may be able to refer you to a certified music therapist. If your dad qualifies for Medicaid, music therapy is covered in a select number of states. It’s worth seeing if insurance will help cover any of the cost.
-Work on Muscle Tone and Coordination With Video Games…
Modern game systems have a game that can help with hand-eye coordination. Purchase Rock Band or Guitar Hero and look for songs your dad would know. You can purchase music to add to the library. The game works by hitting the right guitar button or drum pad to the song’s beat. You can increase the difficulty as your dad’s skills improve.
-Sing While You Take a Walk…
As you stroll down a path or through the neighborhood, start singing. Don’t let embarrassment keep you from trying. A song that catches your dad’s attention is bound to have him join in. The more distracted he is, the farther he’s going to walk.
If your dad slows his pace, sing something lively to get him moving again. Songs with a marching beat work well for picking up the pace.
-Play Soft Music for Relaxation…
After a fitness routine, let your dad unwind. It can also help when he’s stressed and argumentative. Put on soft piano music, get him to close his eyes, and imagine a place you’d love to be. You might visualize a beach, a quiet meadow, or a bubbling stream in the middle of the forest. Music will soothe him. At that point, you can try to complete the tasks that upset him.
Caring for a parent who is recovering from a stroke is stressful. Make sure you take your own care into account. Self-care is essential. If you’re burned out, you can’t be your best for your dad. Elderly care specialists offer respite care. Use elderly care services to take time to yourself. Call today to get started.